Recently a family friend passed away. When I called my mom, she remembered aloud a number of moments from their decades of friendship. Grief and nostalgia mingled together as she replayed their years together. I posted on social media my memories as a tribute, which included lessons in social grace and hospitality, the importance of family and the numerous ways her generosity touched my life. It reminded me again of the power one life has to impact another. This impact is why we grieve when a loved one’s life with us ends.
Grief has a place in our faith. We honor that reality each year during our celebration of All Saints Day. “Saints” in our tradition are all those who shared in the grace of Christ, and through their faithful example touched and shaped our own lives. The indelible mark they left on our lives remains even though they have now passed away and entered eternal rest in the arms of Christ. We believe that through Christ we share in prayerful communion with the multitude of those saints who have gone before us. Even so, we grieve the loss of loved ones’ presence. We grieve not hearing the sound of their voice or wrapping our arms around them in a hug. And so during worship, we light a candle on their behalf.
The lighting of that candle is an act of remembering the light their lives shone in this world. It is also a reminder of the promise we claim even when our hearts weep; life goes on eternally for those loved ones through their faith in Christ. Candles will be available for you to light this Sunday. As a community we will honor those saints who have impacted the Old Bethel community through their membership. Come to honor your loved one this Sunday. Invite a neighbor or friend who is grieving a loss. Together we will give thanks for their lives and their legacy.
Community Life: What’s Happening at Old Bethel
Old Bethel has already reached 66% of its stewardship goal this year! We are more than half way there! When you give to the House of the Lord, you further the ministries of Christ through this community. Thank you! If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to make a pledge this year, you are invited to fill out a pledge card which can be found in the bulletin during worship or at the Welcome Center. You will be surprised, that making a pledge not only grows your faith, but also allows you to sense your part in Christ’s work. I’ve heard this so many times from new pledgers!
One of the ways your pledges furthers the reach of Christ is through ministries like the English as a Second Language course taught by Pastor Saul. It will reach more than thirty neighbors this semester!
Membership classes are being offered in November. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Old Bethel Church family or would like to take the next step in your spiritual journey, come to our next Starting Point sessions, Sundays November 8 & 15, 12:45-3:00pm, in Fellowship Hall A. Learn about the vision and values of the Old Bethel faith community and what is unique about United Methodists. Childcare will be available if requested in advance. Please email email@example.com or call the church office at 359-9651 if interested.
You are invited to attend the United Methodist Bazaar to purchase hand crafted items and gourmet food that support local, national and global missions, Saturday, November 7, 9am-3pm. Breakfast and lunch will also be available for purchase.
You are invited to bring new or gently used coats, hats, and gloves for all ages. Please place items in the specially marked box in the lobby no later than November 8. These will be distributed Saturday, November 14, 8am-noon. Shopping buddies are also needed on the 14th. Contact Nancy Bellinger at 375-0711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Weekday School kicks off their Annual Scholastic Book Fair, next Sunday, November 8, with a wide assortment of children’s books available. Cash, checks and credit cards are gladly accepted. Proceeds from this sale help purchase birthday and Christmas books for the Weekday School students.
And remember, Daylight Savings Time comes to an end this weekend. Set your clocks back 1 hour before you go to bed Saturday night.
Serving Christ Together,